Finland Suspends Thailand Applications for Wild Berry Picker

Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs has decided to suspend the reception of wild-berry pickers’ visa applications in Thailand. The suspension applies to all applicants in countries within the consular district of the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok: Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. This means that Schengen visas will not be issued to wild-berry pickers from these countries for the summer 2024 harvest season.

Visas for wild-berry picking have been issued on the assumption that pickers enter the country for a purpose comparable to tourism, collect wild berries freely under the right of public access (‘Everyman’s Right’) and sell the natural products that they have harvested to the party of their choice. However, it is evident that the current practice in the sector contradicts this assumption. It has come to the Foreign Ministry’s attention that wild-berry pickers have generally entered into employment contracts.

The Finnish Government’s aim is to find a comprehensive long-term solution to the entry of wild-berry pickers into Finland from the 2025 harvest season onwards.

Visa applications of applicants other than berry pickers will continue to be received and processed as usual at the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, and the applications will be individually processed in accordance with the Visa Code.

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